REP. MALONEY ON BUSH MEDICARE EVENT:
"This Administration has overlooked Democratic plans to create strong prescription drug benefits in favor of a new law that creates 'doughnut hole' prescription drug coverage and ruins Medicare. It's a damaging one-two combination.
"By making Medicare compete with private health plans, this law will force seniors into HMOs - and force them to pay higher premiums for doing so.
"Any bill that strips 215,000 New York retirees of their drug benefits is a bad bill to me. But that's not the only worrisome news. The much-ballyhooed prescription drug benefit actually leaves seniors uncovered for $3,000 out of their first $5,000 in drug costs. Means testing of Medicare will create higher premiums for certain seniors. And, in the end, Medicare will be privatized. Their attempt to revamp a most vital New Deal program is a historically Bad Deal for New Yorkers and Americans.
"Medicare was one of the most successful programs in the history of the United States. Today, the president signed Medicare as we know it into oblivion."